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Copyright by: Beryn Harty, 2018.
Medium sized butterfly measuring up to 4" in length. The upperside of the male is bright yellow-orange with a red-orange bar and red-orange outer margin. The two forms of the female, one off-white and the other yellow-orange, are much larger than the male with a solid black cell spot and a submarginal row of broken, angled black smudges. The outer half of the hindwing of the female yellow form is red-orange. The caterpillar is yellowish green with a lateral black stripe with many back points.
North America, Central America, South America
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Found year-round in South Florida.
Urban areas such as gardens, forest edges, parks, and road edges.
White eggs are laid on the leaves and flowers of host plants.
Swift, high fliers.
Caterpillars feed on flowers of host plants. Larval host plants include the native Bahama senna (Senna mexicana var. chapmanii), and the nonnative golden shower (Cassia fistula), candlestick plant (Senna alata), African wild sensitive plant (Senna didymobotrya), Coffee senna (Senna occidentalis), and Glossy shower (Senna surattensis).
This butterfly is native to central and south america and was accidentally introduced into Florida during 1920's. Garden abundance is moderate to high.